Reds' young star cleared for Brumbies clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Queensland Reds have made two changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s Super Rugby AU Grand Final against the Brumbies in Canberra.
After being cleared of concussion, Jordan Petaia will shift to the right wing with Chris Feauai-Sautia ruled-out with a groin injury.
It sees Hunter Paisami start in the No.13 jersey and re-join his centre-pairing partner Hamish Stewart.
In the forwards, JP Smith will start at loosehead prop as Harry Hoopert drops to the bench as a finisher this weekend.
There are a further two changes to the reserves with Ruan Smith back in the 23 as Queensland’s replacement tighthead prop, while utility back Jack Hardy comes into the team following the elevation of Paisami into the XV.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “Grand Final week – this is what it’s all about.
“We’re embracing the challenge ahead against a worthy opponent, whom we respect.
“Our journey to get here started back in November with our Reds to Regions trip across Queensland. We travelled around the world. We worked hard in two pre-seasons. We’ve battled through a global pandemic. Many of our guys in this group have come through our pathway and club rugby – they’ve thrived and have grown as men during this year.
“We’ve reconnected with our state. They believe in us and we want to make them proud this weekend, plus achieve something together as a group.”
Queensland Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Jack Hardy.
Date: Saturday, September 19
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.20 (09.20 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Amy Perrett, Reuben Keane
TMO: James Leckie